This section is from the book "Scouting For Rural Boys. A Manual For Leaders", by Boy scouts of America. See also: Outdoor Adventure Manual: Essential Scouting Skills for the Great Outdoors.
The problem of pure water, pasteurized milk and food uncontaminated or unspoiled, face both urban and rural Scouts, though the farm water supply may require careful watching especially with wells where surface drainage from outbuildings and barnyard is a problem. Both face the problems of road and traffic hazards, with the necessity for particular care in night walking on highways so as to be facing the on-coming traffic by walking on the left side of the road, and by carrying lantern, flash light or by wearing clothes or coat which can be easily seen in dark by motorists. The black and white striped stick for night walking is excellent.
The rural boy, however, is in frequent contact with other hazards and rural training courses should be included. These involve wood chopping, barbed wire fences, various farm machines some of which are sharp and full of danger, should one fall in front of them. The fire problem is even more menacing than it is in town or city because there are fewer organized and trained fire fighting facilities and helpers within quick reach. The farm and rural town must master their own fire hazards.
There are also on the farm a whole series of dangers in the handling of horses, mules, stallions, boars, bulls and other male animals. In addition the maternity animals are dangerous as the mother may not understand the motives of one's approach and may take offense quickly and become a menace. All this is part of the obligation of the Scout Leader to train the farm Scout in rural safety.
READING A MERIT BADGE BETWEEN FURROWS.
The health and sanitary problems of the country are probably more numerous because fewer things are done for them. Sanitation, garbage, flies, outhouses, manure piles, pig pens, cattle or sheep lots-these call for knowledge of what to do. The Department of Agriculture bulletins are especially helpful in giving technical counsel on all these matters.
First Aid takes on a new importance on the farm, as it is the only aid that can come when needed.
First-aid to animals is of great potential service as veterinarians cannot always be summoned quickly. First-aid administered by a prepared Scout may save a valuable animal from loss.